Saturday, August 20, 2011

Live Thursday August 25th with Bob Compton on The Finland Phenomenon

Join me Thursday, August 25th, for a live and interactive webinar with Bob Compton, producer of the new documentary film The Finland Phenomenon, an "inside look at the world's finest secondary education system." Narrated by Dr. Tony Wagner of Harvard (a previous guest on our show), the film does a very good job of showing the surprising factors that educators and policy-makers in Finland believe accounts for their consistently being ranked as one of the best (if not the best) education system in the world--including students starting school at age 7, limited homework and testing, highly-esteemed and compensated teachers, and "trust" at all levels. We'll talk about these and other fascinating aspects of education in Finland for an hour with Bob.

Date: Thursday, August 25th, 2011
Time: 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern / 12am (next day) GMT (international times here)
Duration: 1 hour
Location: In Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Elluminate). Log in at The Blackboard Collaborate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early. To make sure that your computer is configured for Blackboard Collaborate, please visit the support and configuration page. Recordings of the session will be posted within a day of the event at the event page.
Recordings: The full Blackboard Collaborate recording and a portable .mp3 audio recording will be available soon after the show. The LearnCentral event page is

The Finland Phenomenon.  Finland's education system has consistently ranked among the best in the world for more than a decade. The puzzle is, why Finland? Documentary filmmaker, Bob Compton, along with Harvard researcher, Dr. Tony Wagner, decided to find out. The result of their research is captured in a new film, "The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World's Most Surprising School System. In the 60-minute film, Dr. Wagner guides the viewer through an inside look at the world’s finest secondary education system. A life-long educator and author of the best-selling book "The Global Achievement Gap, Dr. Wagner is uniquely qualified to explore and explain Finland’s success. From within classrooms and through interviews with students, teachers, parents, administrators and government officials, Dr. Wagner reveals the surprising factors accounting for Finland's rank as the #1 education system in the world. 

From Bob's website:  "My name is Robert Compton but my friends call me Bob. I have been around since the fifties and am glad to have lived during such interesting times. I have a wide range of interests and I hope that you and I can learn something from each other.

"I graduated from Principia College with a Bachelor of Arts degree. After graduation I began my career in systems operations with Telenet Communications, the first X.25 communications network. I joined IBM Corporation initially as a systems engineer, and later became a sales representative selling mainframe computer systems. I left IBM to continue my education at Harvard University Graduate School of Business where I received my Masters in Business Administration.

"A year after Harvard, I landed a position at First Chicago Venture Capital. From there, I moved to Indiana where I served as a general partner at CID Equity Partners from 1987 to 1997. My signature deal was help-desk software developer Software Artistry, which went public in 1995 and was acquired two years later by IBM for about $200 Million. I was President and Chief Operating Officer of Sofamor Danek Group, Inc., which at the time was the world’s largest supplier of implants, computer-assisted surgery products, and biologics for spinal surgery. Medtronic acquired Sofamor Danek Group, Inc. in January 1999 for $3.7 billion. I have served on numerous corporate Boards of Directors in an array of industries and have been the lead investor in over 20 businesses, five of which have had successful public offerings. I am currently the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vontoo Corporation, the Founder and CEO of True South Studios, as well as the Founder and Chairman of Indian Math Online.

"I am an active philanthropist, who has endowed scholarships at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, given a grant to support Teach for America and the University of Memphis School of Business. I have given research grants to InMotion Musculoskeletal Research Institute, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I have also given money to support St. George’s High School, Exchange City, Memphis, and the Indie Memphis Film Festival.

"After traveling to India in 2005, I was inspired to create the documentary Two Million Minutes: A Global Examination to take a deeper look at how the three superpowers of the 21st Century-China, India and the United States are preparing their students for the future. As the American public school system fails to adapt to this century, schools in China and India produce four times the number of high school graduates as the U.S. and educate these students to a much higher level. After revealing the decline of American Education in Two Million Minutes, I searched the world for a solution to the education crisis. Two Million Minutes: The 21st Century Solution demonstrates that American students are capable of competing globally given the right curriculum, the right teachers, and expectation for success. Despite the decline of public education, the decades ahead can be ones of prosperity and economic growth, provided the American people have the gumption to embrace the 21st Century Solution. In 2009, I released a documentary, which opens a window into Chinese capitalism. Win In China is the world’s largest and most lucrative business-plan competition, and beneath the game show’s surface lies a subtle view of Chinese business practices, ambitions, ethical norms and competitive behaviors."